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BBC: 未來所有的農活可能都由機器來完成

wzyxm 于2019-11-13發布 l 已有人瀏覽
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隨著新型機械不斷地被發明,人們對勞動密集型耕作方式的依賴在逐日減少。然而,以下這一景象會成為現實嗎?農民不再需要下地干活,機器人會承包所有的工作。
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The future of food production

食物生產的未來

Imagine a future where all farming is done by machine, and humans never set foot in the fields.

想象一下,未來所有的農活都由機器來完成,人類不再需要親力親為。

No, it's not science fiction. In Shropshire in the UK, engineers in the Hands Free Hectare project are developing automated tractors and fleets of drones to grow and harvest crops.

不,這不是科幻小說。在英國什羅普郡,“無人公頃計劃”的工程師們正在研發自動型的拖拉機和無人機,幫助人們種植和收獲莊稼。

And their experiment is not alone: agricultural robotics is a booming sector. Investment bank Goldman Sachs estimates the market will be worth $240bn over the next five years.

而且他們的試驗也不是特例:農業機器人領域正蓬勃發展。高盛投資公司預計,接下來的五年時間里,這一市場的價值將達到2400億美元。

One reason why the sector is on the up is that global demand for food is rapidly increasing. The World Bank estimates we will need to produce 50% more food by 2050 if the planet's population continues to grow at its current speed. Add to this to the forecast that yields will decrease by over a quarter due to climate change, and the situation looks serious.

這個行業發展迅猛的原因之一是全球對糧食需求的迅速增長。據世界銀行預計,如果人口按照當下的增長速度一直持續,到2050年我們需要比現在多生產50%的糧食。此外,預測中還提到,由于氣候變化,糧食產量將會減產四分之一以上。形勢不容樂觀。

Could futuristic farming provide the answer?

未來的農業能解決這個問題嗎?

One company in Japan believes so. The firm Spread has dispensed with farming on land altogether, and instead grows vegetables on stacks of trays indoors in an automated factory.

日本的一家公司認為未來的農業可以解決這一問題。這家叫Spread的公司已經完全不依靠土地種植糧食,取而代之的是自動化工廠里的多疊層室內培育盤。

In countries like Japan, where land is actually a very scarce resource, it makes more sense to stack your production, just like a skyscraper, says JJ Price, Spread's global marketing manager.

“在日本這樣的國家,耕地實際上已經十分緊缺,所以更應該采用縱向生產的方式,就像摩天大樓那樣。”Spread公司的國際市場經理JJ普萊斯如是說。

Mr Price told the BBC that this method of vertical farming not only reduces costs by 50%, but it is also greener. LED lights cut energy bills by a third, and 98% of water can be recycled. By growing crops close to where people consume them, transport costs and emissions are also minimised, he says. They hope to be producing 30,000 lettuces per day next year.

普萊斯先生表示,這種縱向生產的方式不僅節約了50%的成本,而且生產方式也更綠色。使用LED燈能減少三分之一的電量消耗,而且98%的水都可以循環利用。在有需求的人群附近開展種植還能減少運輸成本和尾氣排放。他們希望明年的萵苣日產量能達到30000.

And where will we buy this futuristic food? Perhaps in shops with no staff? Amazon has recently launched its first Amazon Go store in the US, which has no checkouts. Customers simply pick their items from the shelves, and technology does the rest.

我們在哪里能買到這種未來方式種植出來的食品呢?或許在無人商店能買到?亞馬遜最近已經在美國開啟了第一家 Amazon Go無人商店。人們只需要挑選自己需要的商品,剩下的都交給科技完成。

All this begs the question: if everything is automated, what jobs will people do? The mechanisation of farming means fewer and fewer people work the land. From 1950 to 2010, agricultural labourers have decreased from 81% to 48.2% of the workforce in developing countries, and from 35% to 4.2% in developed countries, according to the International Labour Organization. It's a trend that looks set to continue.

這一切都讓人不禁想問:如果全部使用自動化機器,那人們還有哪些工作可以做?農業機械化意味著需要越來越少的人投入農業生產。國際勞工組織指出,從1950年到2010年,發展中國家的務農人員已經從81%降到了48.2%,發達國家則從35%降到了4.2%。這是一個還將持續下去的趨勢。

 

詞匯表

to set foot (in)

去(某處)

automated

自動化的

fleet

艦隊、船隊

robotics

機器人技術

sector

行業,領域

on the up

蒸蒸日上的,穩步上升的

forecast

(對形勢的)預測

yield

(農作物的)產量,常作復數

to dispense with

免去,不再使用

stack

LED lights

發光二極管照明技術

emission

(氣、熱、光等)排放物

checkout

收銀處,付款臺

to beg the question

引人發問

mechanisation

機械化

workforce

勞動人口

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